Most Americans are familiar with the Italian mob, thanks in part to shows like "The Sopranos" and movies like "Casino" and "Goodfellas." But also of interest to mob movie fans are members of the Russian mob. The Russian mob is sometimes referred to as "Organizatsiya" ("The Organization") or "Bratva" ("The Brothers").
Often depicted as more violent and ruthless than their Italian counterparts, the Russian mob features heavily in some of the best-loved TV shows from recent years. These tough, terrifying Russians provide tension and drama in many of your favorite shows.
In the current season of "Dexter," one of Dexter's recent kills was a man connected to the Russian mob. When the mob tracks down who was responsible for the death, it leads them to the slip where Dexter's boat, The Slice of Life, is docked. There, the mob kills Louis, who was sneaking around the boat. Dexter will likely spend the rest of Season 7 being pursued by the mob.
The Russian mob is also featured in occasional episodes of "The Sopranos." Most often, the Russians are shown in conflict with the DiMeo crime family, though the two groups were actually in an alliance. One prime example is the character Valery, featured in the episode "Pine Barrens."
The Russian mob doesn't just exist on Earth: in the Joss Whedon TV series "Firefly," the mob also made it to outer space. One of the scariest characters on the series was Russian-descended mob boss Adelei Niska. He was utterly ruthless and would even torture members of his own family to make a point.
In "Sons of Anarchy ," the Russian mob plays a pivotal role in many plots. In the show, the Russians are arms dealers who sell their wares to many gangs. One notable member was Viktor Putlova, who was killed by SAMCRO in Season 4.
But not all depictions of the Russian mob on American TV are violent or scary. One of the funniest episodes of "Frasier" revolves around the Crane brothers and their quest to obtain delicious, discount caviar from a Russian syndicate. In return for sharing their caviar with their high-society pals, Niles and Frasier get tons of favors done for them.
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